SHAH ALAM: Rise of the Guardians, Part II. In an earlier post, I quoted a Bernama report stating that nine Guardian armoured security vehicles (ASV) will be delivered to Malbatt 850-5 – the Malaysian contingent to UNIFIL – this December.
The report however did not identify which Guardian ASV had been selected nor the vehicles it was replacing. Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Johari Baharum when met today says that the Guardian that he was referring to was manufactured in the United Arab Emirates though he did not identify the company.
As I had mentioned before, Weststar Defence had partnered with UAE-based IAG to offer the Guardian to the armed forces.
Asked what vehicles the Guardians was replacing, Johari says “the Condors”. He said more units of the Guardians will be procured in batches though he did not mentioned numbers nor the timeline. He declined further comment.
Johari was met upon arrival at the Subang airbase here Monday (Sept 25, 2017) with the last batch of soldiers from Malbat 850-4, the unit which had been stationed in Lebanon for the last 12 months. He had visited the Malaysian troops stationed there.
As I mentioned previously, the armed forces had sought to replace the Condors since these vehicles were deployed to Lebanon in 2007. Malaysian had deployed the Condors to UNIFIL after the world body accepted its participation following the end of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. Because of the war the UN wanted the number of peacekeepers to be increased to prevent a similar conflict in the country.
Due to the fast track deployment to Lebanon – UN accepted our offer in August 2006 – the first Malaysian troops arrived on Jan. 20, 2007, the Condors were chosen for the mission simply because we had no other armoured vehicles. These were supposed to be there as an interim measure with a replacement to be fielded soon after.
However, due to various factors – a deal to replace them with refurbished VABs from France fell through as well as a supposed deal to buy PT Pindad Anoa, which looked very similar to the VABs. Malbatt also used a number of Nyala MRAP vehicles on loan from the UN but these were later returned.
Johari in the Bernama report quoted previously says that there were 46 Condors with Malbatt 850-5. The Condors are supplemented by an unknown number of Sibmas ARV. One was written off in a fatal accident in 2013.
Based on the current numbers of Condors with Malbatt, we can assumed that the number of Guardians will likely increase to those figures though this cannot be confirmed. As for the reason the Guardian ASV was chosen in the first place, its beyond me at the moment.
— Malaysian DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment